These questions have answers marked "best" by the asker.

July 20

Cost of the toll troll?

I'm driving from Baltimore to southern Vermont. First time driving the northeast coast and all I hear about are tolls! Oddly, I have not really dealt with tolls in any of the places I've lived. If anyone has made a similar trip, how much money should I take with me for a round trip in tolls? Can I pay in credit card or just cash? Just quarters?? [more inside]
posted by buttonedup to Travel & Transportation at 4:12 PM - 17 answers

Not everybody lives in California

My 2014 MacBook Pro becomes essentially unusable for work tasks in normal summer temperatures. What can I do? [more inside]
posted by enn to Computers & Internet at 12:39 PM - 13 answers

Oh Yeah, Alternative History!

Inspired by this post on the blue - got any good suggestions for alternative history? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Media & Arts at 11:38 AM - 16 answers

Recipe help, please!

I have a bunch of vegetables and some other things. What can I make for dinner tonight? [more inside]
posted by ramenopres to Food & Drink at 10:45 AM - 10 answers

What was this YA sci-fi series I read as a kid?

I'm trying to remember the name of a YA sci-fi book series I never finished as a kid. It involved three teenagers (2 boys, 1 girl), a conspiracy, and an alien invasion (or extra-dimensional invasion). I'm pretty sure I read this in the late 90s/early 00s. I'd really like to find it again so I can finally finish it. [more inside]
posted by ultranos to Media & Arts at 9:49 AM - 3 answers

dating beanplating

I want to ask a friend out but a couple of things are making me hesitate; would like to get some hive mind input on whether I should hold off or if I am simply overthinking as usual. [more inside]
posted by thereemix to Human Relations at 9:20 AM - 14 answers

how to find a rut, get into it, and stay there

Just to check before I resign myself to struggling through more conventional life plans: are there actually any real, obtainable socially isolating jobs with a living wage anymore? What are they, and how do you obtain them? [more inside]
posted by automatic cabinet to Work & Money at 6:17 AM - 14 answers

How is graticule made?

I'd like to know why latitude and longitude are parallels and meridians and why they converge at the north pole. Maybe because degree grid cells break up into nice squares near the equator and mid-latitudes, but then fall apart at the poles (i.e., what time is it there? It seems totally arbitrary). Was this planned somehow? Did Eratosthenes or Hipparchus have a justification for the fact that meridians to go N-S and the parallels E-W, when it could just as easily have been the reverse? [more inside]
posted by stinker to Science & Nature at 2:44 AM - 11 answers

July 19

What is this insect, and what is it doing?

Here's a 1min 30sec video on Flickr. Note that the video was taken sometime in late summer 2016, in Cambridge, MA, right outside of William James Hall.
posted by not_on_display to Pets & Animals at 10:47 PM - 4 answers

What would you do with this space?

I recently leveled up and purchased a house. I love it! It's an old funky craftsman, with an adorable loft above the master bedroom. Unfortunately, the loft is not big enough to stand in, so it's not suitable as an office. Right now I just have a rug in it, and sometimes I use it as a meditation space. I'd like to avoid using it only for storage because it's so cute. If you had a little bonus space like this, how would you use it? Here are some pictures of it. I want to hear all of your ideas, even if they are related to specific thoughts or hobbies.
posted by pazazygeek to Home & Garden at 10:30 PM - 18 answers

How to not be sick with stress?

My mom's graveside service is tomorrow at 10am, and I'm nauseous as hell from stress. I know it's all in my head. How do I just pause this feeling for a while? [more inside]
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit to Human Relations at 8:29 PM - 20 answers

Seeking movie recommendations.

I loved Rocky. I want more movies that will impact me similarly. I am not looking for sports movies or triumphant underdog movies specifically. [more inside]
posted by windykites to Media & Arts at 8:27 PM - 14 answers

Stuck In the Pseudo-Wife Zone

My SO and I have been in a long term relationship for 4 years that has produced a child, a mortgage, a dog, and life long plans. We are not married and I think we should be. Help. [more inside]
posted by dea to Human Relations at 7:18 PM - 85 answers

Samurai Jack XCVI -- where is it?

This episode seems to have disappeared. It's not on the Adult Swim site, it's not on xfinity streaming. It is available for purchase on Amazon, but I don't really want to spend an extra $3 on something I should already have access to. Anyone know what's up with this? I can't find any reference to it being removed from (even the official!) streaming sites. Assume I know about torrenting but don't wish to run afoul of my ISP or deal with sleazing past their ICE.
posted by curious nu to Media & Arts at 7:08 PM - 1 answers

Removing sources in Google News

I am getting news articles on my google news page that are, frankly, homophobic and transphobic. I can't see a way to block these news sources from my Google News page, is there any way to do that? These are not "right of center but mainstream" news sources like WSJ. They're more like Brietbart and Christian Broadcasting News. I suppose it's possible that because I have "religion" as a header for one of my interest areas, they're feeding me what I consider to be extreme religious "news". I did search Askme and it seems like answers to blocking include "no", "don't do that" and many of them are old anyway. As a separate question, I tried finding an email to write to google on their site and even though they have a page titled "contact us" there are no contact emails or forms on that page. Is there a help email for google at all?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee to Computers & Internet at 5:48 PM - 2 answers

I have used the phrase "cold dead hands" in fear of this day.

I'm starting a new job in a few days, and it occurs to me that all the machines in the office will likely be Windows 10. I've never touched Windows 10. Since I've been hired as a senior document processor, this could be a bit problematic. What can I do to learn this OS in 5 days or less? [more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom to Computers & Internet at 5:13 PM - 15 answers

Need ideas for a non-pointy wizard hat

I'm in the process of assembling a wizard costume I'll be wearing at a con in a month. I don't particularly care for the traditional pointy cap, though. MeFi, please give me your best ideas for non-traditional, non-pointy wizard hats.
posted by isauteikisa to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 3:44 PM - 17 answers

International travel insurance with pre-existing condition

Husband and I are planning a short trip to Europe later this year. We've always gotten travel insurance for international travel, but now it's more complicated and more important because husband had a heart attack last year. He's doing great now, but I think that puts him into pre-existing-land when it comes to travel health insurance. We're both in the US, covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield. Our plan definitely does not include health care beyond the US, so we'll need something else. [more inside]
posted by dayintoday to Health & Fitness at 2:28 PM - 3 answers

Smelly cat, smelly cat

My three year old desperately wants a pet, specifically a kitten. Before we moved to our new house, we had talked about getting a pet. Now, my husband says he doesn't want a cat because he is concerned that our house will smell like cat. [more inside]
posted by chela to Pets & Animals at 2:01 PM - 31 answers

Name that movie - a guy turns into a chair?

Was there a (Japanese?) film that included a young man being transformed into an ordinary chair? [more inside]
posted by Occula to Media & Arts at 1:31 PM - 4 answers

How to mail this letter to germany?

I've got one of these little Moleskine Messages note-book mailers that I'd like to send from USA to germany. But the woman at the post office said "Nope, we can't send it because the stamps are in the wrong spot." [more inside]
posted by rebent to Grab Bag at 10:17 AM - 11 answers

BBQ dish.... while traveling

I'm going to a work BBQ tomorrow and I need to bring a dish but... I'll be traveling with a giant suitcase all day. So it needs to be something that packs well. [more inside]
posted by silverstatue to Food & Drink at 10:07 AM - 13 answers

Gift related to Native American history and culture?

I have a friend from Europe who is fascinated with Native American history and culture. I'd like to get them a gift for less than $100. They speak/read English, but not perfectly, so a text-heavy book might not be the best.
posted by gwint to Society & Culture at 9:54 AM - 11 answers

Yet another movie I can't identify, but you can help!

A year or so ago, I saw a movie that was a psychological mystery/thriller in the vein of Circle, Cube, or Exam, or at least that's how I think of it. Needless to say, I can't remember the title of the movie, but I can remember a few details, which are inside. (Possible spoilers, if you care about that sort of thing.) [more inside]
posted by holborne to Media & Arts at 9:32 AM - 19 answers

Gear choices for a 25k hike

I am participating the in the KTA Trail Challenge 25k hike in September. This is my first hike over 10 miles, so I have a few questions about shoe and clothing choices. [more inside]
posted by slogger to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 8:13 AM - 16 answers

Boyfriend seeks to make amends but can I really trust him?

Otherwise Amazing Boyfriend [OAB] is extremely passive and avoids conflict to the point of his own detriment. Unfortunately this passivity also leads him to lie to get out of trouble, lie to please others, lie to avoid conflict, etc. This has caused huge problems in our relationship. He's improved a lot since then, but I'm not so sure how to move forward. [more inside]
posted by Socolime to Human Relations at 4:59 AM - 50 answers

Should I buy a haven in case of climate change?

Should I find a piece land to buy that I could move to decades from now, in case of severe climate change effects? If so, where? How about Fairbanks, Alaska? [more inside]
posted by daisyace to Science & Nature at 4:12 AM - 31 answers

Batch Conversion: doc to docx without M Office

Google search is inconcluisve, so I turn to you, dear hivemind. I need to convert a large number of DOC files to DOCX. I do not have Microsoft Office, but I do have Open Office (which doesn't let you save as DOCX, afaik). I have found single conversion tools online, but a single document takes 5 mins to convert. I am not confident enough to run any sort of command prompt. What solutions exist that I cannot find?
posted by kariebookish to Technology at 3:24 AM - 5 answers

July 18

So...when do I get to do this whole "pursue my dreams" thing?

I'm 29, 30 next year. Female, POC. I've had dreams of becoming a television writer since my teens, and, right now, I'm in LA working in the industry at an executive level (but I work on the business/marketing side of things, not the creative). Been here almost 4 years. I'm super-super adjacent to what I *want* to do (write). But I'm almost too good at the adjacent position, and I'm scared that I'll never get to pursue the real dream. [more inside]
posted by themaskedwonder to Work & Money at 10:17 PM - 19 answers

Gift basket by Friday?

Our long-time receptionist is leaving us this Friday. We're having an office party, but I thought it might also be nice to have something on her desk that day, so I'm investigating availabilities and costs to see whether it seems worthwhile on a somewhat limited budget. She's well-known for maintaining the office supply of random treats, which naturally suggests some kind of treat basket for her... [more inside]
posted by praemunire to Food & Drink at 2:15 PM - 10 answers

AskMe, will you be my shopping buddy?

I want to spend a lot of money (for me, anyway) on a dress I may be unreasonably obsessed with. Give me the go-ahead or talk me down? Plus size dress question inside. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 1:47 PM - 49 answers

Design help for a tattoo

I have a couple of vague ideas for a new tattoo. I have an artist picked out, but I think I need to go through a couple of iterations with someone who has a solid grasp of tattoo design before I take the idea to him. Have any of you used online design services or freelancers for this kind of thing? Other ideas?
posted by mr_roboto to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 1:18 PM - 13 answers

Han Solo, TV DInner

Back around the days of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, I remember seeing a depiction of Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, as a tv dinner (like Swanson). It was either in Mad, Cracked or Crazy (my three favorite magazines at the time). I have scoured the internet, delved through the Mad, Cracked and Crazy archives, but have not been able to find this image. Did it even exist? Hope me, Metafilter, you're my only help.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Grab Bag at 12:42 PM - 9 answers

What's a real world "how to" you like to show friends?

As part of a training opportunity, I get 5 minutes to teach a small group of people how to "do a thing" -- something like how to walk the dog with a yo-yo, or how to crack eggs without breaking the yolk, or how to make animal shadows with your hands. [more inside]
posted by crepeMyrtle to Grab Bag at 12:28 PM - 23 answers

Behold - the tract homes and boomboxes of the ancients...?

I'm looking for sf/fantasy works (stories, movies/TV, novels, etc.) that take place on a distant-future Earth, and where the characters' encounters with items and/or architecture from 'our' time (give or take a couple decades) as artifacts and ruins figure prominently in the plot. [more inside]
posted by aecorwin to Media & Arts at 12:06 PM - 33 answers

Tenant's abandoned(?) property makes space unrentable

I had tenants that moved out of my guest cottage (~150-200 sqft) with proper 30 days notice. However, it is a tiny studio, and - among other large items - they left behind a couch that takes up 25-33% of the living area (i.e. the area that is not the kitchen or bathroom) of the space. [more inside]
posted by Libelula y colibri to Law & Government at 11:25 AM - 8 answers

Help pick a name for a maybe future business?

I've been spending a lot of time teaching older adults computer literacy skills. I've worked in retirement and nursing homes for years, and I'm very comfortable with older adults, and I love teaching, training and coaching. In order to further this service at work, I'm interested in creating a website that I can use a resource for my students, but I'm also interested in possibly expanding this as a future personal business. Please hope me name it! [more inside]
posted by skookumsaurus rex to Computers & Internet at 10:10 AM - 10 answers

Where can we get to from Ghent?

I'm a classical musician and will be ending a tour in Ghent, Belgium in mid-September 2017. A few of us have decided that we will need a short holiday break for a few days so are thinking we might go together directly from there. Where should we go? [more inside]
posted by joboe to Travel & Transportation at 10:06 AM - 13 answers

Betrayal: Films and books with accurate responses to it

Hey there, I'm looking for films and books that accurately portray people's (ideally women's) responses to a huge betrayal. Not the Hollywood sort where there's some light anger, and then they're over it, but heavy responses to betrayal, when the person you love/trust/believe the most betrays you, gaslights you, leaves you, abuses you, etc. Thanks.
posted by Kombucha3452 to Human Relations at 7:08 AM - 28 answers

Best Email Client on the Mac with support for GMail and Google Calendar

What is the best email client on the Mac that has seamless support for GMail and Google Calendar? [more inside]
posted by theobserver to Computers & Internet at 4:42 AM - 8 answers